Soul songwriter/guitarist Teenie Hodges has died, aged 68. Mabon 'Teenie' Hodges passed away on Sunday (22Jun14) at the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas due to complications from emphysema. His death comes just three months after a pneumonia scare landed him in hospital following an appearance at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas in March (14).
Family friend Lawrence 'Boo' Mitchell tells The Commercial Appeal newspaper, "It's a huge blow to Memphis music. Teenie was an icon as a songwriter and guitarist. Guitarists all around the world loved and imitated his playing. But Teenie... man, he was one of a kind."
Hodges, who is credited with helping shape the music scene in Memphis, Tennessee, played guitar in bands from the age of 12.
In 1965, he joined his two brothers in Hi Rhythm Section, the house band which worked on hit soul recordings with Al Green, Ann Pebbles, Otis Clay and Syl Johnson. He is most famous for co-writing Green's hits Take Me to the River and Love and Happiness.
A short film about his career, titled Mabon Teenie Hodges: A Portrait of a Memphis Soul Original, was released in 2013. He also featured in a documentary called Take Me To The River, which was shown at SXSW this year (14).
Grammy Award-winning producer Mark Ronson expressed his sadness at the news on Twitter.com on Tuesday (24Jun14), writing, "So sad to hear that Teenie Hodges has passed away. He's one of the greatest soul guitar players ever + he co wrote 'Love And Happiness'. RIP (rest in peace)... Teenie Hodges was also an incredibly kind dude who I had the good fortune to spend time around back in March. Alot (sic) of people will miss him."
There's an allure to imperfection. With his latest drama Lawless director John Hillcoat taps directly into the side of human nature that draws us to it. Hillcoat finds it in Prohibition history a time when the regulations of alcohol consumption were subverted by most of the population; He finds it in the rural landscapes of Virginia: dingy raw and mesmerizing. And most importantly he finds it in his main character Jack Bondurant (Shia LaBeouf) the scrappy third brother of a moonshining family who is desperate to prove his worth. Jack forcefully injects himself into the family business only to discover there's an underbelly to the underbelly. Lawless is a beautiful film that's violent as hell striking in a way only unfiltered Americana could be.
Acting as the driver for his two outlaw brothers Forrest (Tom Hardy) and Howard (Jason Clarke) isn't enough for Jack. He's enticed by the power of the gangster figure and entranced by what moonshine money can buy. So like any fledgling entrepreneur Jack takes matters into his own hands. Recruiting crippled family friend/distillery mastermind Cricket (Dane DeHaan) the young whippersnapper sets out to brew his own batch sell it to top dog Floyd Banner and make the family rich. The plan works — but it puts the Bondurant boys in over their heads with a new threat: the corrupt law enforcers of Chicago.
Unlike many stories of crime life Lawless isn't about escalation. The movie drifts back and forth leisurely popping in moments like the beats of a great TV episode. One second the Bondurants could be talking shop with their female shopkeep Maggie Beauford (Jessica Chastain). The next Forrest is beating the bloody pulp out of a cop blackmailing their operation. The plot isn't thick; Hillcoat and screenwriter Nick Cave preferring to bask in the landscapes the quiet moments the haunting terror that comes with a life on the other side of the tracks. A feature film doesn't offer enough time for Lawless to build — it recalls cinema-level TV currently playing on outlets like HBO and AMC that have truly spoiled us — but what the duo accomplish is engrossing.
Accompanying the glowing visuals and Cave's knockout workout on the music side (a toe-tapping mix of spirituals bluegrass and the writer/musician's spine-tingling violin) are muted performances from some of Hollywood's rising stars. Despite LaBeouf's off-screen antics he lights up Lawless and nails the in-deep whippersnapper. His playful relationship with a local religious girl (Mia Wasikowska) solidifies him as a leading man but like everything in the movie you want more. Tom Hardy is one of the few performers who can "uurrr" and "mmmnerm" his way through a scene and come out on top. His greatest sparring partner isn't a hulking thug but Chastain who brings out the heart of the impenetrable beast. The real gem of Lawless is Guy Pearce as the Bondurant trio's biggest threat. Shaved eyebrows pristine city clothes and a temper like a rabid wolverine Pearce's Charlie Rakes is the most frightening villain of 2012. He viciously chews up every moment he's on screen. That's even before he starts drawing blood.
Lawless is the perfect movie for the late August haze — not quite the Oscary prestige picture or the summertime shoot-'em-up. It's drama that has its moonshine and swigs it too. Just don't drink too much.